This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, which deregulated American freight…
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Happy 40th to the Staggers Rail Act, Which Deregulated and Saved the U.S. Rail Industry

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, which deregulated American freight rail and saved it from looming oblivion.

At the time of passage, the U.S. economy muddled along amid ongoing malaise, and our rail industry teetered due to decades of overly bureaucratic sclerosis.  Many other domestic U.S. industries had disappeared, and our railroads faced the same fate.  But by passing the Staggers Rail Act, Congress restored a deregulatory approach that in the 1980s allowed other U.S. industries to thrive.  No longer would government determine what services railroads could offer, their rates or their routes, instead restoring greater authority to the railroads themselves based upon cost-efficiency.

Today, U.S. rail flourishes even amid the coronavirus pandemic…[more]

October 13, 2020 • 11:09 PM

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Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
New York Times Purge Offers Ominous Warning Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, July 16 2020
Even once-celebrated 'Hamilton' suddenly finds itself under woke culture attack for portraying our Founding Fathers in a positive light.

The political left’s increasingly emboldened “cancel culture” marches apace, and if you consider its appetite for destruction voracious now, just imagine if November finds federal government control added to its expanding array of captive societal institutions.  

Acquiring governmental power won’t placate the left’s ravenous Jacobins, it will only fuel and empower them more.  And no American, regardless of station, would in that event remain safe from their predatory wrath.  

This week provided a particularly salient lesson, in the form of two high-profile departures from The New York Times and New York magazine that alarmed even sensible liberals awakening to the threat.  

The first came in the form of Bari Weiss, who ironically was invited to join the Times after Donald Trump’s unimagined 2016 victory awakened management to the realization that its range of voices was calamitously narrow.   Three years later, however, Weiss endured treatment so abusive from colleagues and management that she considered resignation her only option.  

In a scathing open resignation letter that deserves to be read in its entirety, she expressed gratitude for the initial opportunity to redress the “critical shortcoming” that the Times “didn’t have a firm grasp of the country it covers”:  

But the lessons that ought to have followed the election – lessons about the importance of understanding other Americans, the necessity of resisting tribalism, and the centrality of the free exchange of ideas to a democratic society – have not been learned.  Instead, a new consensus has emerged in the press, but perhaps especially in this paper:  that truth isn’t a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else.  

Weiss’s most jarring comments center on the specific abuse that she received for daring to add diversity of opinion at the Times:  

My own forays into Wrongthink have made me the subject of constant bullying by colleagues who disagree with my views.  They have called me a Nazi and a racist; I have learned to brush off comments about how I’m “writing about the Jews again.”  Several colleagues perceived to be friendly with me were badgered by coworkers.  My work and my character are openly demeaned on company-wide Slack channels where masthead editors regularly weigh in.  There, some coworkers insist I need to be rooted out if this company is to be a truly “inclusive” one, while others post ax emojis next to my name.  Still other New York Times employees publicly smear me as a liar and a bigot on Twitter with no fear that harassing me will be met with appropriate action.  They never are.  

The irony of this supposedly “elite” journalistic corps labeling Weiss a “Nazi” for “writing about the Jews again” obviously escapes them.  It’s even more ironic because guess who else demanded conformity of speech, books, statues, art and other objects they considered objectionable:  the Nazis themselves.  Nevertheless, Weiss’s colleagues insisted in Orwellian fashion that making the Times truly “inclusive” requires cleansing of one of its few diverse voices.  

Such is the cerebral derangement of today’s left.  

On the heels of Weiss’s departure, high-profile writer-at-large Andrew Sullivan announced his departure from New York magazine for reasons that he would only cryptically label “pretty self-evident.”  Prior to resigning, Sullivan had tweeted several times in support of Weiss, saying in one that, “The mob bullied and harassed a young woman for thoughtcrimes.”  He later added, “And her editors stood by and watched,” and “I’d say Bari’s future is a lot more promising than the NYT’s.”  

All of this follows a similar recent purge at the Times after it ran a commentary by Senator Tom Cotton (R – Arkansas) in favor of a “law and order” approach to growing civil unrest. Not some obscure gadfly offering gratuitously inflammatory clickbait – a sitting Senator whose party composes a majority of one branch of Congress.  

Elsewhere, 150 left-leaning journalists endured leftist blowback for joining “A Letter on Justice and Open Debate” in Harper’s magazine in support of free speech rather than cancel culture.  Their crime?  Writing that, “The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted.”  

Once again oblivious to the irony, participant author Jennifer Finney Boylan (coincidentally a contributing opinion writer at The New York Times) groveled in apology, “I thought I was endorsing a well-meaning, if vague, message against internet shaming.  The consequences are mine to bear.  I am so sorry.”  Yes, shame on you for opposing shaming, Ms. Boylan.  

Similar purges continue across academia, media, corporate society and entertainment.  Even once-celebrated “Hamilton” suddenly finds itself under woke culture attack for portraying our Founding Fathers in a positive light.  

If leftists purge their own institutions for “Wrongthink” such as this, imagine what awaits conservatives and moderates across society should the left regain federal government control.  People like Lois Lerner at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) were once written off as trivialities and swept under the rug.  Going forward, abusive people like her will more likely be openly embraced to once again target pro-Israel and conservative voices, or private citizens who simply donate to nonprofit organizations deemed intolerable.  As it stands, four Supreme Court justices would have outlawed a simple film critical of Hillary Clinton, a leading presidential candidate in the 2008 election, in the Citizens United case.  

The prospect of Joe Biden somehow offering a vigilant bulwark against such abuse appears dubious, to understate matters.  Accordingly, whatever one’s political perspective – left, right or centrist – these accumulating incidents offer ominous signs to consider as November nears.   

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following was the first 20th century presidential candidate to call for a Presidential Debate?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"Joe Biden's tax proposals have gone through a variety of iterations over the course of his campaign, but lately, he's settled on a pledge not to raise taxes on those earning under $400,000.This pledge is not consistent with his current proposals, but he's even less likely to be constrained if he's elected president.Even if Biden claims he would not directly raise income tax rates on those earning…[more]
 
 
—The Editors, Washington Examiner
— The Editors, Washington Examiner
 
Liberty Poll   

Do you believe you will be better off over the next four years with Joe Biden as president or with Donald Trump as president?